Yankees president Randy Levine says the team has no intention of paying $300 million or more to keep Robinson Cano. But if the Mets want to write that check, they can have him.
Asked if he could envision Cano in a Mets uniform – as Cano was pictured on the back page of Tuesday’s New York Post – Levine laughed and said: “For 300 million, yes.”
The Post reported exclusively that Jeff Wilpon, GM Sandy Alderson and assistant GM John Ricco met for dinner on Monday night with Cano’s agents, including Jay Z.
As for the Yankees’ stance on trying to retain Cano, Levine said, “Robbie Cano is a great player. We would very much like to bring him back. I think we have made a very competitive offer.”
Cano asked the Yankees for a 10-year, $310 million contract, and the Yankees countered at seven years in the $161-168 million range.
“We are just waiting for him to come back [with a counter-offer],” Levine said. “We have no interest in paying any player over $300 million. We hope he comes back to us. We want him. But there are really no reasons to have any discussions at this point.”
Levine was asked whether he could envision any other team going as high as $300 million for Cano.
“You’ll never say never, but I’m highly skeptical,” said Levine, who joined Giants owner Jonathan Tisch at a Stroock Government Center panel discussion on the impact of pro sports on the New York economy.
Levine said the Yankees are doing business as usual despite the looming $189 million luxury-tax threshold and the uncertainty over the Alex Rodriguez arbitration.
“Hal [Steinbrenner] has said and I’ve said that 189 is the goal — as long as it’s consistent with fielding a championship team,” Levine said. “We think that’s very possible and doable, and we’re not waiting around for anybody. We have a list of five or six major free agents and we’re engaged with all of them and we’re not waiting around. The first guys who come off the board, those are the guys we’re going to sign.”